by David Oliver Kueker
In the mid 1950s the Latin American Mission, worried about the failure of churches to grow, studied three diverse movements that were rapidly growing in their context: Communism, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Pentecostals. With the message and values of each group so different, the commonalities would reveal what was causing growth.
“Each had successfully mobilized their entire constituency in continuous outreach. Latin American Mission put their findings together in a concise statement, the so-called Strachan Theorem: the successful expansion of any movement is in direct proportion to its success in mobilizing and occupying its total membership in constant propagation of its beliefs.” (Source: Richard Peace, Small Group Evangelism – A Training Program for Reaching Out with the Gospel, 25.)
This reflects a significant paradigm shift - to add a completely new idea to the traditional understanding of institutional church growth and disciple making as a process that happens in a building by a program at an event shaped by a professional administered by a committee. We’ve attempted to do that since Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan
in 313, which proclaimed tolerance of all religions, including Christianity, throughout the Roman empire. I like to call this method is called “right hand disciple making.”